Volunteering on the coast and in the countryside (practical)

  1. National Trust
  2. Natural England
  3. Cornwall Wildlife Trust
  4. Lizard Ancient Sites Network (LAN)

Our conservation work covers over 1,000 hectares of diverse land, from beaches and cliffs to inland heathlands and wooded valleys. Our work aims to maintain a delicate balance between protecting important wildlife habitats and landscapes and providing good access to enable people to discover and enjoy them. Joining our team is a fantastic way to learn more about the wonderful habitats we manage. Our outdoor volunteers have really varied roles, all of which aim to conserve precious natural environments for people and for wildlife. You can get involved in tasks like tree felling, gorse clearance, maintaining fencing and pathways, building steps and stiles, beach cleaning and our wildlife surveys. Whatever your interests, your aims and your time availability, we should be able to tailor something to suit you. We will provide the appropriate training and protective clothing. We will pay your travel expenses, and offer other volunteer incentives such as volunteer discount cards.

Our practical countryside volunteers work from two workshops:

  • From Lizard – Every week day volunteers and Rangers head out, from our base at Poltesco (near Cadgwith), to undertake vital work across the peninsula from repairing fences, to maintaining the coastpath, and managing habitats for wildlife. If you live locally, and are interested in any of these volunteering opportunities on the Lizard, then please contact rachel.holder@nationaltrust.org.uk or (01326) 291174
  • From Penrose – The National Trust also offers volunteering opportunities at Penrose, near Helston. The opportunities at Penrose are similar to those listed above for the Lizard. There are also opportunities to volunteer in aspects of horticulture in the walled garden at Penrose.

For more information contact laura.david@nationaltrust.org.uk N.B if you are interested in one of the full-time volunteer ranger positions please visit out work experience page (LINK)

Like other National Nature Reserves (NNRs), The Lizard NNR is a place for people: somewhere to enjoy nature, take some exercise and escape from the pressures of modern life. Our volunteers come from many different backgrounds and are involved in a wide variety of tasks, from scientific surveying, fence building and scrub clearance to stock checking and beach cleaning. There is no minimum time commitment – you choose how much you do. We provide appropriate training and protective clothing. We will even pay your travel expenses. The best way to find out who we are and what we do, and if it’s for you, is to come and spend a ‘taster’ day with us.

Generally, volunteers fall into three categories:

• Eyes ‘n’ Ears – mostly people who live near to or regularly visit parts of the NNR, and keep us informed of things we may have missed, and generally keep us on the ball.
• Science and Monitoring – people who have a keen interest in natural history or wish to undertake a particular study project, such as plant, bird and butterfly surveys.
• Midweekers – generally Tuesdays and Wednesdays: the core of our practical programme, getting down to the nitty-gritty of day-to-day habitat management and reserve infrastructure.

We always need more knowledge to assess whether our management is benefiting all species, not just the showiest or rarest. For more information please ring Steve Townsend on 01326 240808 or email steve.townsend@naturalengland.org.uk

We own two nature reserves on the Lizard: North Predannack Downs and Windmill Farm. The management and maintenance of these nature reserves is undertaken by a dedicated team of staff and occasional volunteer conservation work parties, which involve things like scrub clearance and coppicing, and are often organised by our local groups. Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust is very rewarding and beneficial, both for you and for us. Volunteers have always been, and will always be, important to Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

To find out if there are any work party events in your area, please visit the ‘What’s on’ page of our website http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on and search for ‘Work party’ in the ‘Search by event type’ field.


Other than these occasional work parties on our nature reserves, we are unable to offer casual conservation work to volunteers. However, we do have full time nature reserve volunteer positions available, working across Cornwall within the Nature Reserve Estates Team: details are on our volunteer opportunities page http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/how-you-can-help/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities.

There are many other volunteering opportunities available with the Wildlife Trust, ranging from diving surveys to administrative office-based work. For more information browse the other volunteering pages on this website or visit the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/how-you-can-help/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities.

We are a group of volunteers who got together in 2009 to look after the prehistoric and early mediaeval sites on The Lizard peninsula. We work closely with Cornwall Council’s Historic Environment Service, as well as key conservation organisations on The Lizard. Once a month we do a clear-up at a different prehistoric site, removing overgrowing vegetation and scrub. These clear-ups are not difficult, they are friendly and fun, and we are always keen for new folk to join us (all tools provided). Some of the sites where LAN has worked include:

• The Kynance Gate settlement (which we have rescued from a sea of gorse)
• The Barrows near Drytree standing stone (which can now be seen for the first time in many years)
• The Three Brothers of Grugwith monument (behind Zoar garage)
• The area around the ruined St. Rumon’s Church

We have also helped clear National Trust sites at Chynhalls Point and Carminowe Mill, and have worked on Natural England’s Polcoverack settlement.

If you would like to join us on any of our clear-ups, you will be made very welcome. Further details can be found on our website http://cornishancientsites.com/lan.html.

If you would like more information please e-mail us on info@cornishancientsites.com or telephone 01736 787186